July 11, 2013 : Staying Healthy This Summer

Staying Healthy This Summer

Summer is a time which has many of us spending more time outside and involved in more strenuous activities. Be sure that you’re aware of some of the dangers of direct sunlight and overheating the body. Even if you are in good shape, overdoing the exercise in hot weather can be dangerous. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and cool this summer.

  1. Make sure you have plenty of water when the weather is hot. Your body needs lots of liquid to keep it cool. Water is the best option since it is cheap, readily available, and easy for your body to use. Sports drinks and fruit juices are additional alternatives that will help you to stay healthy. Carbonated drinks and especially carbonated drinks with caffeine can help you to stay cool, but the effects of carbonation and caffeine almost totally cancel out the benefits.
  2. Organize your outside activities so that you aren’t in the sun during the peak heat hours. Opt instead to stay inside or rest in the shade in the early afternoon. Plan any strenuous activities for early morning or after sunset.
  3. Include frequent breaks in your work or play outside. Resting in the shade or going inside for a few minutes out of every hour or two will help you to feel refreshed.
  4. Wear hats, sunglasses and light shirts to keep the sun off your skin and out of your eyes. If you look at the traditional clothing of people who live in hot climates, you will notice that they are as well covered as people in cold climates. They have learned that it is important to be protected from the sun.
  5. Wear sunscreen on all exposed skin. It’s easy to slather the stuff all over the little ones and forget to use it on ourselves. Sunburn and skin-cancer are not fun. The higher the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) the stronger the protection. Be careful with waterproof sunscreen, as it can be difficult to rinse it out of eyes.
  6. Keep air conditioning at a reasonable level. Have you felt faint walking out of a heavily air-conditioned store into the hot blast of outdoor air? Your body doesn’t adjust well to drastic changes of temperature and it doesn’t hurt your budget to keep the indoor a little closer to the outdoor temperature. Consider your long-term comfort when setting the air.
  7. Cool off in the swimming pool if you really want to be outside during the heat. Public swimming pools are a great way to spend time cooling off and enjoying the summer time with friends. If you’re worried about the cleanliness of a public swimming pool, don’t worry, almost all public swimming pools should be clean if they have been properly tested with a swimming pool test kit or water ph test strips.
  8. Watch for clammy skin or sudden tiredness. These can be signs of heat exhaustion or the start of sunstroke. Do not ignore! Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see a doctor.
  9. Nausea is a serious symptom. Unexplained vomiting is cause for an emergency room visit. Don’t ignore anything! Treat all “strange feelings” seriously.
  10. Pay attention to your body. If you feel hot or thirsty—do something about it! Get out of the heat and get a drink of water! Heat exhaustion and sunstroke rarely happen suddenly—we just ignore the warnings our bodies provide.

Swimming pool test strips make this a clean pool.